Newfound respect for mothers and wayward parishioners

As you may or may not know, Matt’s sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy over a month ago. Since then, there have been trials, but she & her hubby have pulled through by the grace of God and the wonderful family members they have been blessed with. As Matt’s dad & I have become accustomed to doing, we went to see little B and his parents. Her husband was exhausted from pulling night duty while his wife caught a few winks. We helped her with grocery shopping and I got to take care of little B for a little bit. Man, I tell you, carrying a 11lb baby is no joke and trying to burp a baby isn’t a walk in the park either. When I think of J carrying the little one in her arms, I mentally doff my hat to her. As she always does, she hooked us (her dad and I) with fresh farm produce which, in this case, were tomatoes. After we were done visiting, we went to church and had our seats in the worst place possible. We were running late and thus ended up with the worst pick of seats. Unsurprisingly, we couldn’t hear much of the service, but sitting at the back did allow me to see some of the unseemly behavior that people tend to reserve for the back of ‘the bus’. The case in point: a woman’s cell phone rang loudly twice and she answered the phone both times. Everyone around her turned and she kept on the phone, rather oblivious to her surroundings. A parishioner actually called her on her misbehavior and it felt like she was being a bit combative towards the elderly man who reminded her of her surroundings. It was rather sad. Thankfully, her phone didn’t ring again. I would hate for her to be have been publicly embarrassed. Continue reading Newfound respect for mothers and wayward parishioners

New hits

Okay, I am done trying to figure out why my tinyMCE toolbar won’t show up and I’m tired of seeing the FCKeditor take 2 mins to load. I won’t die if I have to type out html tags. What’s going on, folks? I actually took time to explain the pidgin to M yesterday. He didn’t think it was too funny, but I had to vent on the blog anyway. I might have been a bit crude and I will edit that post thusly. Also, I’ve been getting a slew of hits to my site, specifically to my Greek mythology page pertaining to a mythical Thracian musician/poet a.k.a. Orpheus. I’m guessing this is school work and everyone’s hitting up google to find out the answer. Well, I’m sorry I don’t have much more on that page, but I will be including links to pages that contain more information on the greek/roman mythical figures. Please search Google using the tag “orpheus” or “orpheus greek mythology” and see these sites that I’ve found already: Pantheon, Wikipedia on Orpheus, Loggia, In2Greece, etc.

In other news, I’ve been mulling on career-related stuff and finding myself a bit confused. I don’t want to embark on things for the wrong reasons but I know that I have to make a move. I’ve been barely 6 months on the new/first job and I’m already thinking about what’s next. That’s good, right? Ideally, what’s next would be a new job that offers a different set of skills. We’ll see.


lol. I’m feeling a little too upbeat. I woke up a little too early for a Saturday and spent about 30 mins at working doing some routine work. Then, M & I went to do some personal/family business. We finally mailed off the form 8453-OL that is needed to make filing your tax return legal in the eyes of the IRS. I had been meaning to get stamps to get it mailed out before the week was up, but then I got up this morning and realized that TaxACT had told us to file in 3 business days! Well, they apparently send you a warning letter and if you still don’t send them the needed form, you may be barred from e-filing. Oh, the horror. Needless to say, that was on the to-do list today. Also cashed a check I had held on for to for awhile. I was nervous this time around because of the bad experience I had with a check (from a bank, nonetheless. The evil Bank of America) that bounced. So, I’m hoping to high heavens that this check is good because I really don’t feel like spending hours n the phone with customer service reps. Haven’t gone grocery shopping yet. If there’s anything that M hates, that’s it. I work like a dog all week and my weekends are essentially my downtime or break (most of the time). He gets his breaks during the week days. However, he stayed up super late last night and I knew I’d have a rebellion on my hands. I didn’t want to push my luck. ๐Ÿ˜€ Aaand, I generally vegged out in front of my computer. Sorry M. lol. I was supposed to go for a walk because the temp was gorgeous. However, the lazy side of me won out.ร‚ย  My time in front of the computer was rather productive though! I found out that our Georgia state refund had hit already! That was pretty damned quick. I wish our federal would be that quick, but I can wait another week or so. We’ve got big and responsible plans for that. It’s not a whole lot, but it’ll take care of our super-secret project for one. And it’ll take a bite out of credit card #2. Oh, did I mention I requested for an increase and got it? I did that mostly to look good and now, I’m tempted to do another increase just to see if I can. I’m getting greedy. Again, just want to stress the obvious that you do not get the increase in order to up your spending. I’m doing that to present the appearance to those who pull my credit that I’ve got a low debt to credit ratio. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m getting antsy about my site again. I love WordPress because it’s simple, but I’m bored. I tried my hand at Drupal, but quickly got tired of needing a damned module for almost everything even though the modules that could be found were super-cool. If there is a way to port (smoothly) from WordPress to Drupal, I’ll do it as a test and if I like it enough, I’ll switch back to drupal.

Savings, Retirement and WordPress woes

Of late, I’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs and I could kick myself for the information that I’m discovering that I wish I’d known before. Nevertheless, it is not too late. I am turning 23 this year and I got started on my first ‘real’ job. My job automatically contributes the maximum amount from my paychecks to a 401(k) which they match at a rate of 9%. This is pretty good. Their benefits are good such that M has dropped his employer’s health plan in favor of mine e.g. they cover 90% vs his employer’s 80% plan). Based on stuff I’m reading, here are several things I’m learning:

  1. Debt resolution should be #1 on your list. You can do this by paying it down aggressively or “snowflaking” approach popularized by Dave Ramsey i.e. you pay little at a time, taking money from little areas that you might otherwise ignore. In my case, snowflaking will be the best way to go afterall that’s pretty much how I cleared up my Bank of America credit card. Let me see them collect 20.74% APR on a zero balance card. In your face!!
  2. Building an emergency fund. The idea of an emergency fund is emergencies. It’s said that an emergency fund should be “three to six months worth of basic living expenses”. Without going into too much detail, this will also require me/us to practice some serious snowflaking habits. Now, I started this one out the wrong way. What did I do? I put $100 in a tip jar. Now, this is a special tip jar, but M just showed me a neat way of retrieving money from this jar so I’ve safely retrieved the $100 from this jar, but that’s not what was wrong with my approach. The money was just sitting in my tip-jar when there are no-cost high yield savings accounts that are liquid (i.e. easily accessible assets)! So, I have started an Orange Savings Account with a 4.10% annual percentage yield. All you need to open this account with is: $1.
  3. I’m also learning that it is a good thing to participate in another type of retirement account (the IRA or individual retirement account) called a Roth IRA. I would go out right now and start one, but the biggest obstacle is committing to the somewhat hefty payments that need to be made monthly. Additionally, I’d like to set up one for both Matt and myself so it will take some number crunching. Last night, M & I couldn’t sleep and we actually sat down (or up cos we were lounging on the bed) and tallied our cost of living. We are going to do some interesting things with that discovery and I’m pumped about being savings, et cetera.
  4. A key principle to getting rid of debt and not getting stuck in the cycle is not channeling all your funds towards the debt such that when some mini-disaster strikes, you will end up having to resort to dipping into the credit card pool. It’s taking a little while for me to wrap my head around that, but it makes perfect sense. For a while last year, I would throw quite a bit at both cards and by the end of the month, I’d find out that I was essentially going nowhere! However, little chips here and there caused me to wipe out the Bank of America card, some old lingering school fees, etc.

That’s about it for now. I’ve been going nuts tinkering with my WordPress 2.3.2 installation because contrary to my last post’s congratulatory tone, I still am getting the “tinyMCE is undefined” error which causes the toolbar to disappear. I finally hunted down Dean’s FCKEditor plugin for WordPress and I’m typing merrily once again. I hope the WordPress developers fix whatever is causing the TinyMCE toolbar to disappear. I mean, I reuploaded a fresh instance of WordPress 2.3.2 (after deleting old files) and my toolbar showed briefly. Today, I logged in and coudn’t get my toolbar to show. Anyhow, I’m working with the FCKEditor now so I don’t care too much. In more WordPress news, I’ve been discovering some really cool plugins most notably StatPress! It’s like stats on steroids!! l recently transitioned from using the WordPress Reports plugin because it kept “forgetting” that I’d put in my Google account information a zillion times. So, I decided to go with Local Analytics which gives a lot of customization room. Still, I really miss the nice report view that the WordPress reports gave me. I haven’t gotten used to the really complex Google analytics interface and it takes me a while to figure who visited my site, and from where. It’s a confusing mish-mash. That’s why I still have Statcounter running on this site because it condenses the information and presents it in relevant bite-sized and digestible chunks. Hey, I’m easy to please.

Oh and lastly, I finally gave into activating the Share This plugin because it really wiped out several things in one fell swoop: giving you the ability to email/IM/twitter any post you like to your friend/enemy/frenemy as well as posting it to any or all of your accounts on Facebook/MySpace or the next hot social networking site. I didn’t like that the original developer (Alex King) had sold the plugin and that I had to sign up to use the plugin, but it wasn’t that painful and I just hope I don’t get spammed. Besides, the older version of the plugin is still available. He’s pretty involved in the WordPress community and I trust his plugins. Alright, I’m getting tired. It’s red flag day and I’m really twitchy. I wonder how come I am relatively docile up until the day comes. Then, I turn all grumpy and usually, my grumpiness is even what alerts me to the possibility that the red lady’s come a-knocking! I know, weird. I’m pretty regular although not to the exact day. It’s more along the lines of a windows of 7 days. So, stay outta my way for the next 5-7 days. lol

Getting hits

Well, it hasn’t been two days since I put my poems and other stuff up. I’m already getting some hits and I hope they keep coming in to fill my adsense coffers! ๐Ÿ˜€ I used to be on the first page (1st or 2nd link actually) of Google SERPs (search engine results pages) for a good bit of search terms like “figurative poems”. Hell, I’m still on the damned first page (about 5 results down)!!ร‚ย  Anyhow, after my site went down, my page ranks went down with them too. I didn’t put much up while I pondered on what to do with my site and the best way to display my content. Well, as you may know, I tried Drupal and got tired of having to need a module to do one thing or the other. The process of installing and working with modules is not very smooth either so I have returned back to my WordPress roots. WordPress isn’t perfect either as evinced with the trouble I had when I merely had a page with really long content. The only reason I’m keeping WordPress is because of its popularity ergo I’ll definitely find a way to retrieve my data from this site when/if it goes down or if I get sick of using WordPress.

In other news, I’ve been on pins and needles for the past week. It doesn’t seem to be letting up. I’ve found a couple of interesting jobs that come Monday, I will be applying for.ร‚ย  This month is almost at the halfway point and I’ve got so much to be thankful for. Labor Day is coming up soon and we’ll be doing some cool things (hopefully and if everyone can coordinate their schedules). We’re also planning on getting the heck out of Athens next week and just being around family. I am definitely not in the mood to hang out at the house if I can help it. lol.

Comparison of WordPress and Drupal

I cannot say how good it feels to be back in “old” waters i.e. with WordPress. I dabbled in Drupal for awhile but I didn’t dare mess with the actual php files because it was a bit more than I could handle. Granted, I switched from WordPress for a reason, but right now, just being able to add more than 1 goddamned music or video file to one post is a blessing. I thank Heavens for the podpress plugin which made this possible. I think it’s a fact that WordPress has more plugins donated by the community than Drupal. I mean, Drupal has some neat plugins, but I was really disappointed that I had to have more than 1 plugin to essentially do something that should have been inbuilt into the system. I’m just glad that I didn’t have that many posts there because it would have been a major pain to try and figure out how to import my posts into WordPress. There is a great need for documentation when it comes to plugins. For instance, the first plugin I installed and activated was the WPG2 plugin. I mean, I have Gallery2 on a different subdomain and a different database. On the plugin page, it says this plugin has support for different databases. However, there’s no mention whatsoever of how to configure the darned plugin to realize that Gallery and WordPress aren’t sharing the same database. Short of altering the wp-gallery2.php file to read from a different wp-config.php file, I don’t know what to do.